Maynah Borja-Erece with USQ Professor Stephen Winn
Maynah Borja-Erece with USQ Professor Stephen Winn USQ Photography

Maynah carries on the family tradition of excellence

JUST like her brother Jozef, Maynah Borja-Erece didn't want to wait until after high school to start university.

The high-achiever from Springfield Lakes is in her final year at St Augustine's College and already has three university courses under her belt, thanks to the USQ Head Start program.

Head Start provides motivated Year 10, 11 and 12 students the opportunity to experience the workload and demands of university study while still in high school.

Maynah was one of about 20 high school students from across the region to be recognised at the USQ Springfield and Ipswich Head Start Graduation Ceremony in Springfield last night (March 28).

For Maynah, Head Start was a chance to look at potential career paths and gain an insight into university life. She's now keen to study Psychology at USQ next year.

"My experience of learning through the USQ Head Start program was invaluable as it provided a great insight in what is expected from a university education and expanded my view on the opportunities available in my studies," she said.

"The biggest thrill for me was seeing my hard work pay off and knowing I had exceeded my academic expectations."

Maynah received a Distinction for her latest course 'Communication and Scholarship' having previously completed 'Foundation Psychology A' and 'Psychology B' during the program.  

It's an outstanding achievement, enhanced by the fact that she had an added hurdle to overcome.

The 16-year-old was born with Connexin 26, a recessive gene which causes hearing loss.

"I am thankful to USQ for preventing these personal struggles by having accessible course materials online, as well as having recorded lectures that I can listen to in my own time," she said.

Maynah has always excelled in her academic pursuits - and it runs in the family.

Her mother Jo-Ann is a doctor and her father Maynard is a teacher, but it's her brother Jozef who has received the most attention.

In 2015, at the age of 18, Jozef became the youngest law graduate in Australia when he graduated from USQ.

After graduation, he added another accolade to his list of achievements by becoming the youngest practising solicitor in the southern hemisphere.

While they are big footsteps to be following in, Maynah is thankful for Jozef's constant support.

"Jozef was the one who first introduced me to the USQ Head Start program because he wanted to share his experiences of being at university with me," she said.

"He's the most demanding in the family when it comes to my academic endeavours and was the one who saw that in order for me to get the best possible experience in my learning.

"He has served as an inspiration and enabler for me to achieve my very best in everything I do, and along with my parents, has given me his whole-hearted support whenever I have struggled in my studies."

More than 150 high school students officially graduated from Head Start in Semester 2 and 3, 2017.

About 1000 students have successfully completed a Head Start course either at a USQ campus or via distance (online) education since the program started in 2005.

Students who successfully complete Head Start are guaranteed entry and academic credit into related degrees provided they have met the program pre-requisites.

For more information about the Head Start program, visit